The prevalence of physical activity and perceived barriers among health care professionals in Gaza Strip/Palestine

Ahmed H. Albelbeisi, Ameer K. Shehada


Background: Physical inactivity is public health problem in the world, it has been estimated that physical inactivity one of the main risk factors for worldwide mortality, and related to more than five million deaths annually. The present study aimed to determine the prevalence of physical activity (PA) among Palestinian healthcare professionals and the main perceived barriers toward the practice of PA.

Methods: A cross-sectional, snowball sampling technique, an online questionnaire was employed among healthcare professionals. The main perceived barriers to adherence to PA were assessed by the CDC questionnaire, adherence level assessed based on the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations. Statistical analysis was performed using statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) version 22.

Results: There were 400 healthcare professionals included in the study, 17% were physicians, 43% were nurses, around 19% were lab-technicians, around 12% were X-ray-technicians, and around 9% were physiotherapists. Their mean (SD) age 32.6 (±8.4) years. Only 13.5% of the study participants reported that they were adherence to the practice of physical activity, the prevalence of regular physical activity among different healthcare professionals’ disciplines were reported as 6.5% for X-ray-technicians, 10.7% for lab-technicians,11.8% for physicians, 16.1% for nurses, and 18.9% for physiotherapist. The main reasons for being inactive were lack of energy, lack of willpower, lack of time, and lack of resources.

Conclusions: The healthcare professional’s adherence to physical activity is suboptimal. Varied implementation strategies targeting the barriers are extremely required, public authorities should enhance the access to physical activity infrastructure, and reinforce the change toward healthy behaviors.


Physical activity, Prevalence, Barriers, Healthcare professionals

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